WHY SHOULD YOU BOTHER WITH THE WALKAROUND?
When a truck is not in service – for whatever reason – it costs the operator money. Therefore, it pays to ensure vehicles are properly maintained to prevent any unwanted surprises popping up in the middle of an important delivery or journey.
Proper vehicle care starts with the walkaround check, undertaken by the driver before they leave on a job. On the outside of the truck, specific attention should be paid to the condition of the brakes, tyres, lights and mirrors. Fluids, oils and pressures are also key elements that should also be checked. Anything that might appear out of the ordinary, such as tyre wear or headlight damage should be noted down and the information passed on.
What might seem trivial, could potentially lead to a far bigger issue. For example, tyres lacking sufficient tread means longer stopping distances, worse performance in the wet and be detrimental to the truck’s handling. Ultimately, it could lead to an accident where the vehicle ends up off the road or – in a more extreme example – injure or kill a vulnerable road user.
So, the walkaround check is vital, but it is often easy to not give it the attention it deserves. Even more so, in an age where there is so much technology on HGVs. Computers, sensors and camera can help in lots of situations, such as steering, emergency braking and parking. But they won’t let a driver know that a headlamp is broken or that your registration plate is not secured correctly.
When there is a trailer behind the cab, the walkaround becomes even more important. Vehicle overload and distribution should also be checked to ensure there is not either a danger to other road users or risks impacting on the truck’s performance.
Essentially, a small and quick check of the vehicle and its conditions before starting a journey can prevent big and potentially lengthy problems in the future. And when time is money, the last thing any operator needs is a preventable issue that puts a vehicle off the road, impacting revenues. Service centres and repair and maintenance contracts might cover all basis, but it’s probably best not to use them unless the situation actually requires it!
Find out more about Texaco Delo products for commercial vehicles here.